Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Reader's Diary #1063- Sara Gruen: Water for Elephants
To make matters worse, I enjoyed it! Told from the perspective of one Jacob Jankoski, a 93 year old man now in a retirement home, recounting his days in a traveling circus— memories sparked by the announcement that a circus is being set up next door to the home. Set during the Great Depression, the overarching theme seems to one of luck; when it's bad luck, persevere and be patient for the good luck (should it ever come).
Jacob is flawed, but not so much that he ever becomes unlikeable and most of the other characters are believably complex, even Rosie the Elephant. The settings are fascinating (I was as interested in the retirement home as the circus). And the love story is beautiful. Occasionally, it's predictable (Jacob is forced to be roommates with a little person, who first appears to resent Jacob's presence, but of course they eventually become friends) and while I was content with the ending of the flashback, the wrap-up of the present day frame story felt more implausible and forced. Still, these are minor complaints and honestly, I looked forward to reading it.
(This was the first time I borrowed an eBook from the local public library and the experience was great. I'd definitely do it again. Do you or have you borrowed eBooks before?)